Unholy furry things! No sooner than I find a Terry & Gerry re-issue CD, than I discover that The Dancing Did‘s one-and-only album And Did Those Feet (Kamera, 1982) has been re-issued. The Dancing Did hailed from the misty rural Vale of Evesham, Worcestershire, and were a sort of a dark mirror-image to Virginia Astley. As with the Terry & Jerry CD, our saviour here is again Cherry Red records.


It’s rooted in the rural Midlands. It’s the closest that English rock music has yet come to an authentic “rural gothic” neo-romanticism. There’s a 20-page booklet. Plus all the singles and four live tracks. Buy this album! Don’t hesitate.

“‘The Wolves of Worcestershire’ is almost Shakespearean in its lyrical vision … Live, Dancing Did was one of the best times one could have without leaving the early ’80s. On vinyl, the magic is just as potent as it ever was.” — All Music

“The Dancing Did were also unique, not something ascribed to many bands. Like an unholy union of Punk, Folk, Rockabilly/Bebop and true English Goth imagery, you can plot them on a creative line somewhere between Alan Garner, Mervyn Peake, P. G. Wodehouse and The Avengers; various ghosts and Vikings invading village greens rubbing lyrical shoulders alongside nuclear war, feral wolves and burning witches. What other band could have started a song with the lyrics, ‘Take good care of your petticoats Alice, if you want to play cricket with your brother’? Hell, I’m shocked that their final gig wasn’t honoured with a Spitfire flypast, but you can’t have everything.” — author Mick Mercer.

“Worcestershire folk-punk magic realists … pastoral Edwardian rockabilly” — Rip It Up And Start Again.

And Did Those Feet is pre-occupied with death and destruction, with the cycle of life and the darkness of rural enclaves. Badger Boys stalk the streets of his market town, like pike in an empty river. The Dancing Did occupied a world where fruit-picker vigilantes and squashed things on the road were common sights. Their leader was by turns a Charnel Boy, searching and scraping across the landscape, a night prowler climbing dark shiny ivy and of course, a dancing didicoi who entertains folk in the back room of the Blue Boar.” — Pete Rencher

And having lived for many years in rural south Warwickshire (not so far from Evesham) at that time, I can vouch that, yes, strong traces of that world did still exist there in the mid-1980s. I just wish now that, too young as I was, I’d photographed it.

What previously hidden rural Midlands treasure will be unearthed next? David Rudkin’s film Penda’s Fen on DVD, perhaps? “…one of British television’s masterpieces” — Dave Rolinson, lecturer in Film at the University of Hull. “One of the great visionary works of English film” — Vertigo magazine. Yes, and currently locked in a vault.